E-commerce free and paid platforms are highly in demand for building online stores. Investing in the right e-commerce platform can either make or break your online store Business. However, it is essential to know that the platform isn’t the only that will push your business ahead, but products or services or your offering. When you are building a webshop, you need to think about different aspects, including- website hosting, inventory, and shipping management.
When we talk about e-commerce platforms, you will find both free and paid versions of both. To use any of them either, you need to have some expertise and continuous management. The ultimate goal is to keep your webshop running and stay on the trend. According to Statista, e-commerce sales are projected to 6.54 trillion US dollars by 2022. Therefore, if you want to be in the race, the best is to invest in e-commerce platforms that can give a good long-term return.
Let us now take you through the top 7 E-commerce platforms to build your business.
Squarespace is an all-in-one platform used for building an e-commerce store, helping to sell goods. The best part of this platform is the server management is taken care of and has easy-to-use tools. Falling under the paid version, Squarespace comes with the annual payment of $18/month, offering essential features. You can even check some of the interesting e-commerce free and paid platforms WordPress themes (Shop until you drop) for the e-commerce website to install and use compelling features.
You can also create a blog section to keep readers updated about new product entries and general content. You can customize the part with responsive blogger templates. Using a professionally coded WordPress theme can make your e-commerce site look inviting.
One of the exciting things about Squarespace is the promotional tool area. You can add multiple discounts on your products.
- $18/monthly and $26/monthly offering-
- Free Templates
- Unlimited contributors and products display
- Website Analytics
- 3% transaction fees
- Best design for ecommerce sites
- Social media integration
- Inventory system and analytics tools are effective
- No app store- so you need to rely on in-built features
- Difficult to get grips on certain features
- Lack of shipping options.
Squarespace is ideal of start-up e-commerce businesses, unless you want to expand your business beyond the boundaries.
Bigcommerce is a highly reputed e-commerce platform and is known for its top-notch users, including Clarks and Ben & Jerry. Few studies claim online stores using Bigcommerce platform have witnessed double growth in the industry. One of the best things about the platform is the in-house features, including- customer reviews, email marketing, and search filters. Another exciting thing about this platform is it allows customization and freedom for using web design technical tools. However, the platform is not that user friendly, so you need to carry in-depth technical knowledge.
If you are tech-savvy, then Bigcommerce is the best choice because it allows you to sell physical goods and digital goods quickly.
- Strength of the platform-
- Store Review
- Offering Real time reports
- Customer and abandoned cart reports
Standard price- $29.95 per month
- Plus- $79.95 per month
- Pro- $299.95 per month
- Enterprise- Varies
- Carries range of in-built features to help scaling online store.
- Allows selling products and service on different channels
- Easy to install multipurpose WordPress plugins
- Only experienced web designers and developers can use because of tricky editing interface
- Doesn’t carry no mobile app
Bigcommerce is the best for those online storeowners who want rapid and remarkable growth. If you want to spend, good money to include tools and features.
WooCommerce is the most popular e-commerce platform and is free to use for building an online store. The best thing about this platform is it can run on any WordPress optimized web hosts, so you will need to buy web hosting and domain name. Unlike other platforms, WooCommerce is an open-source platform. Therefore, the user does not have to pay for personal and commercial usage. However, to use its top features and to extend your business ahead, you may have to pay a certain amount monthly. There are different Webhosting options, including the Bluehost that has been in the market for decades.
One of the best things about WooCommerce is adding free WordPress themes, which are responsive to the site. However, it is suggested to go for premium WordPress themes because they give maximum security to the site.
- For starter $13.99 with webspace limit of 100GB
- For Plus $17.99 for unlimited space
- For Pro, $31.99 includes backup solution
- Has vast selection of social plugins and extensions to make online store powerful
- Customer and admin accounts
- Free and paid WooCommerce themes to modify them according to the settings and site requirement
- The setup process is quite painful if you are an inexperienced user
- Compared to other platforms, WooCommerce lack real-time support. There are different support channels for different plugins.
Weebly, which was acquired by Square, offers both free and paid platforms to build an online store. Earlier, the user could only manage the business on desktop but now also using a mobile app. The best thing is you can install mobile responsive WordPress templates for easy browsing. Weebly comes with several tools helping to expand your site functioning. For inside, it has a blog section where you can post the latest update on your products and another general content drive in traffic.
Another exciting thing Weebly is the platform that allows you to add apps. Check out the Weebly App Center, where you will find around 300 apps to select and install on your site. Similar to Wix and other platforms, Weebly has a drag-and-drop builder, but in a more structured manner.
- No fees for basic use
- $5 monthly for Connect a Domain
- $12 monthly for Pro version
- $25 monthly for Business purpose
- High value for money with exciting features
- Easy to use and manage
- Offers apps installation and blogging tools
- Limited checkout options
- Can’t sell products on social media pages
- Carries lack of tools, so is not for big online stores.
Weebly is highly suitable for small businesses or just want to get into the platform before reaching beyond the boundaries.
Shopify is one such online store building platform that has garnered positive reviews from users. Shopify has over one million stores and 2.1 million active users, making it the most significant platform. The best thing about Shopify is the platform is customizable as per the WordPress mobile-optimized themes. There are over 73 mobile-optimized themes, out of which 9 are free, and 64 are paid starts from $140. You can even have the Shopify app where you can buy or get plugins to use for your online store.
One of the reasons why Shopify is the best e-commerce business platform is multiple features it has. Some of these are- gift cards, custom discount codes, and integrated marketing tools. Shopify is best for those who want to get bothered by design or coding. Since the site is template base, you can easily choose and fill the information.
There are different pricing options offered by the Shopify. This starts from $29 month which offers-
- 2 accounts
- Shipping discount up to 64%
- Online credit card fee 2.9% + 30¢ or 2% using other providers
- 5 accounts
- e-commerce reports
- Shipping discount up to 72%
- Online credit card fees 2.6% + 30¢ or 1% using other providers.
- 15 accounts
- Custom reports
- Third-party shipping rates calculations
- Shopify also offers 140 day free trial, so you can test the platform
- There are similar features across plans
- Unlimited products
- 24/7 live chat, and phone support
- 14 days free trial
- No design skill required
- Best for both small and large stores
- Only 9 free themes
- 2% commission outside Shopify payments
Shopify is best recommended for sole business. It is best to use of business strategies, sales promotions and social media marketing.
6. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is among the top e-commerce website builders having useful features to use. The platform is known for a design-assisted website, which means rather than picking up a template and editing the site, the platform created its site for you. The website is super easy to set up, so even a newbie can set up the online store using some free customizable WordPress templates.
One of the exciting features Constant Contact is you can sell up to three physical or digital products, with 3% transaction fee. One of the strongest features of Constant Contact is its email marketing allowing users to promote products through email.
$10 month for website building offering unlimited features, a listing of unlimited features, and advanced shipping management. However, it doesn’t cover email marketing.
For email marketing, there are two different pricing options:
- Email – $20 month
- Email Plus – $45 month
Constant Contact pros:
- Good value for money
- Simple design- assisted setup
- Supports multiple industry sectors
- No multilingual language site
- 3% transaction fee applied in every sales
- In free plan, the limit is 3 products
Volusion is the next most popular e-commerce website building platform having appealing features but is a quite underrated one. Volusion is widely known for its subscription and recurring payment options. If you have subscription boxes business model, then this Volusion is the best platform. Although the similar subscription box option is available in WooCommerce and Shopify subscription plugins, you need to track those add-ons by self.
Volusion carries less advanced features but focuses more on usability. The platform has a user-friendly drag-and-drop site editor, allowing you to rearrange site elements.
- Personal- $29 per month
- Professional – $79 per month
- Business – $299 per month
- Prime- Custom
- One of the low cost e-commerce website platform, since there is no transaction fees.
- Easy site editor for first-time users
- Carries Limited Features
- Need to buy SSL Certificate elsewhere
- No Blogging option
Volusion is recommended is for those e-retailers who cannot invest finance on features and has small business. If it is your first business, then Volusion is the right website building platform.
No matter how many products you want to sell, what type of products you want to sell, and what is your target audience, investing on the right e-commerce website platform will give a long-term return. It is important you consider the type of products you are selling when deciding the platform. Choose the right website page building platform and themes for a successful business.